In the last hoof care article, I discussed how, although it is legal and possible to trim and shoe your hoofed animal’s feet on your own, it is not advisable without proper training. It is best to allow a professional farrier to trim and shoe your hoofed animals.
However, there is a lot you can do to protect your animal’s hooves between farrier visits.
Essential Tools For Healthy Hooves
The following tools are essential for maintaining healthy hooves whether you have a horse, donkey, goat, or even a zebra.
A hoof pick is an essential tool for hoofed creatures. A horse, or any other hoofed animal, picks up dirt, rocks, grass, mud, and all sorts of debris on the bottom of their feet. If the debris is allowed to remain in the hoof, the chances of your animal getting an infection increase. Therefore, cleaning the hooves should be a daily task. A hoof pick is simply a tool that makes removing debris from the hoof easier.
Hoof Trimmer and Rasp
There may be some occasions where you need to trim your animal’s hooves on your own. Having a trimmer on hand will provide you with the right tools when you need them. Before you attempt to trim the hooves yourself, you should at least be familiar with basic hoof trimming supervised by a professional farrier. If your animal’s hooves are a little uneven, a rasp can help even them out between farrier visits.
Hoof Sealer and Conditioner
The modern lifestyle and domestication of hoofed creatures is damaging to their hooves. Trimming and shoeing- although they do strengthen the horse’s hooves in some way- also open hooves up to infections (just like removing cuticles on your fingers increases the chance of infection). Hoof conditioners can help add extra protection to an animal’s hooves. Most conditions are classified as class 1, 2, or 3. Class 1 offers the lightest protection and is applied daily, class 2 is applied every 3-4 days, and class 3 is applied about every 2 weeks and offers the most sealing and protection.
Wire Hoof Brush
A hoof brush is a useful tool for quickly removing stuck dirt, rocks, manure, and other debris from an animal’s hoof. A stiff wire brush should be your first step in daily hoof care. A nail is also a useful tool for removing debris stuck in the hoof wall.
Hoof Repair Kit
A hoof repair kit is simply glue that you can use to stabilize any cracks in your animal’s feet to prevent the crack from getting worse or hurting the feet. These kits are important for maintaining hoof integrity until your farrier can make the necessary adjustments to the hoof.
Nutritional Supplement for Hoof Health
Most hoof care starts from the inside out. In fact, about 90 percent of hoof health is due to what the animal eats. A good hoof supplement can ensure your animal has strong, healthy hooves.
Here’s a Horse Hoof Care book that you can get on Kindle or as a paperback. It has clear pictures and step by step instructions.
Space for Exercise
Daily exercise is a must for maintaining proper hoof health. A hoofed animal is meant to run around and exercise, which strengthens the hooves. Daily exercise can help prevent other problems, atrophy, and infection of the hooves.
Daily Hoof Care the Key to Animal Health
You can keep your hoofed animals in tip-top shape by providing daily hoof care. The above tools will make any hoof care routine easier and more effective.
If you have hoofed animals, share how you care for their hooves below!